Humanities
Bethel University Archaeology Meets Science Ancient Greek Civilization Discussion

Bethel University

Question Description

I’m trying to study for my Philosophy course and I need some help to understand this question.

Please see the below the questions below that I would like to have individually answered. This assignment must consist of 1000+ words with 3 Scholarly Sources, the below reference must be used as one source. Please put the question number by the answer so that I know what answer goes with each question. **NO PLAGIARISM WHATSOEVER**

1. What key aspects of the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures lived on among the later Greeks?

2. What were the principal political and social achievements of the Greek Archaic period?

3. In what ways do Greek religion and philosophy differ from each other?

Reference and Textbook are below;

Matthews, R. T., Noble, T. F., & Platt, F. D. (2014). Experience humanities (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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S M I T H , A D A M 2 0 0 8 T S Temple of Hera, Paestum. Ca. 560–550 BCE. Limestone. Archaic temples set patterns long used by the Greeks. The buildings were aligned east-west, with the entrance in the east. A vast altar stood before the entrance, and people gathered around it to share a sacrificial meal. The enclosed space inside the temple’s colonnade was off-limits except to the priests. S N L DF 32 mat76655_Ch02_032-055.indd 32 11/26/12 3:10 PM 2 The Aegean The Minoans, the Mycenaeans, and the Greeks of the Archaic Age Preview Questions Three significant peoples thrived in the Aegean basin: the 1. What key aspects of the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures lived on among the later Greeks? Minoans, the Mycenaeans, and then the Greeks. The former two were the 2. What were the principal political and social achievements of the Greek Archaic period? 3. How do epic and lyric poetry differ from each other? 4. in what ways do Greek religion and philosophy differ from each other, and how do both differ from the achievements of the Mesopotamians and Egyptians? S the island of CreteM and in southern Greece, these peoples built complex I societies only to fall, the Minoans to the Mycenaeans and the Mycenaeans to the dorians. ForTabout three centuries after 1100 BCE the Greek world was poor, isolated,H and a cultural backwater. Then, between about 800 and 500 BCE the Greek, world entered the Archaic period. Archaios in Greek first to achieve civilization in Europe from about 2000 to 1200 BCE. On means “ancient,” or “beginning,” and this was indeed the beginning of Greek history and culture in the strict sense (Timeline 2.1, Map 2.1). On A D gean basin coaxed a subsistence living from the thin, stony soil and turned A to the sea for trade, conquest, and expansion. From the Bronze Age to the M iron Age, Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Greeks interacted with and learned rocky coasts and rugged islands and peninsulas, the peoples of the Ae- from the cultures that surrounded them, chiefly those of the Hittites and the Egyptians, but 2 whether it was in systems of writing or forms of sculp- 0 were never content merely to borrow. They always ture, Aegean peoples adapted, blended, 0 and, finally, superseded the contributions of other cultures. The Greek genius 8 was partly a matter of stunning originality and partly a matter of creative synthesis. T The building toS the left, a Greek temple in the doric style, symbolizes many aspects of the Archaic period. it is balanced, ordered, and propor- tioned, but it does not yet achieve the harmony and beauty of the later classical period (see Chapter 3). This temple, now in ruins, is located in southern italy, an area colonized by Greeks who left the mainland amid political and economic strife. Greeks not only learned from their neighbors, they also exported their own culture. Temples were usually the largest and most elegant buildings in a polis, the city-state form of political organization that was a key achievement of the Archaic period. The peoples of Mesopotamia and Egypt seem at once remote and familiar, whereas the Greeks seem utterly familiar; they seem to be “like us.” 33 mat76655_Ch02_032-055.indd 33 11/26/12 3:10 PM S N L DF 34 CHAPTER TWO: The Aegean Timeline 2.1 MINOAN AND MYCENAEAN CULTURES All dates approximate and BCE 2000 3000 Early Minoan 1700 Middle Minoan 1450 High Minoan 1100 Late Minoan First destruction Rebuilding Second destruction of palaces at of palaces in of palaces at Knossos and grandiose Knossos and elsewhere style elsewhere MINOAN CIVILIZATION, CRETE 1250 1900 Mycenaean Dominance Mycenaeans arrive on Greek peninsula 1500 Mycenaeans rule Greek peninsula Dorian Invasions Trojan War, fall of Troy S 1380 M Mycenaeans rule eastern Mediterranean I MYCENAEAN T CIVILIZATION, PELOPONNESUS H , The most profound and recognizable features of the Western tradition derive from the Greeks. Whether one thinks of political institutions, literary forms, or aesthetic tastes, the Greeks were both original and influential. The Greeks shifted focus from gods and godlike rulers to men and women. Ordinary people were seen as having some control over their destinies and some moral responsibility for their actions. By the fifth century BCE the philosopher Protagoras could proclaim, “Man is the measure of all things.” PRELUDE: MINOAN CULTURE, 3000–1100 BCE S N L DF Civilization was already flourishing in Mesopotamia and Egypt when it first emerged in Europe, among the Neolithic settlements on the island of Crete. By about 2000 BCE, a prosperous and stable mercantile culture had emerged, and between 1700 and 1500 BCE, it reached its high point in wealth, power, and sophistication. This society, labeled Minoan after the legendary King Minos, had a complex class system that included nobles, merchants, artisans, bureaucrats, and laborers. Noble life centered on palaces, and twentiethcentury archaeological excavations of several palace sites indicate that communities were linked in a loose political federation, with the major center at Knossos [NAH-sauce] on the north coast. Remarkably, Minoan palaces had no fortifications, suggesting that the cities mat76655_Ch02_032-055.indd 34 1100 800 Dark Ages Mycenaean civilization eclipsed 800 Beginning of Archaic Age remained at peace with one another and that the island itself faced no threats from sea raiders. Crete’s tranquil A image is confirmed by the absence of weapons in excaD vated remains. The palace of Minos, at Knossos, is the principal A source of knowledge about Minoan Crete. The ruins, Mcovering some three acres, though no longer paved or walled, provide a sense of the grandeur and expanse of this once-magnificent site (Figure 2.1). The palace in2 cluded an impressive plumbing and drainage system a complex layout of rooms and passageways on 0 and several levels. Belowground, a storage area contained 0 huge earthenware pots that held grains, oils, and wines, 8 probably collected as taxes from the populace and serving as the basis of trade and wealth. Beautiful friezes T (bands of painted designs and sculptured figures) S decorated the walls of rooms and hallways. Frescoes, wall paintings made by applying paint to wet plaster, of sea creatures (dolphins and octopuses), of beautiful women, and of intriguing bull-leaping rituals (Figure 2.2) enlivened the palace walls. These remains are highly revealing but, unfortunately, early Minoan writing, called Linear A, a syllabic system, cannot be read. No one knows the language of the Minoans, which adds to the mystery surrounding their origins. Minoan religion appears to have been matriarchal, led or ruled by women, centering on the worship of a mother goddess, or great goddess, creator of the universe and source of all life. Statues of a bare-breasted earth goddess with snakes in her hands show how the 11/26/12 3:10 PM Prelude: Minoan Culture, 3000–1100 BCE 35 Learning Through Maps Black Sea THRACE Dardanelles MACEDONIA Sea of Marmara Troy Poseidonia (Paestum) Mt. Olympus THESSALY MAGNA GRAECIA (Italy) Thermopylae Thebes Plataea Ithaca Medite Syracuse rran FR IC 0 100 200 NOR TH A 0 SALAMIS CHIOS SAMOS Marathon Corinth Athens Mycenae DELOS Aegina Argos Tiryns PELOPONNESUS Sparta LACONIA A SICILY 200 mi 400 km MHS63 MAP 2.143 THE AEGEAN WORLD, 479 BCE ean ASIA MINOR (Persian Empire) Aegean Sea LESBOS S S eM a I T H , IONIA Miletus RHODES Knossos CRETE PH EG YP T OE NI C IA mat76620_m0201.eps This map shows the location of the Minoan, Mycenaean, and Greek Archaic Age civilizations. 1. Consider the role of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas First proof in shaping these three civilizations. 2. What were the centers of Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations? 3. Why do you think the location of Troy helped to make it a wealthy and strategic city? 4. Locate the major city-states of the Greek Archaic Age. 5. How did geography influence the origins and strategies of the Persian War? A D A M 2 0 0 8 T S Figure 2.1 North Entrance, Palace of Minos, Knossos, Crete. Ca. 1750–1650 BCE. The palace complex, with courtyards, staircases, and living areas, now partially restored, indicates that the royal family lived in comfort and security, surrounded by works of art. When British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans uncovered these ruins in 1902, he became convinced that he had discovered the palace of the legendary King Minos and labeled the civilization Minoan. mat76655_Ch02_032-055.indd 35 S N L DF 11/26/12 3:11 PM 36 CHAPTER TWO: The Aegean Figure 2.2 Bull-Leaping. Ca. 1500 BCE. Archaeological Museum, Heraklion, Crete. This fresco (approximately 32 inches high) from the east wing of the palace at Knossos is one of the largest paintings recovered from Crete. The association of young men and women with bulls in this scene brings to mind the legend of the Minotaur, in which seven youths and seven maidens were periodically sacrificed to a monster, half-man and half-bull, who lived in an underground labyrinth, supposedly on Crete. A bull cult may have been central to Minoan religion. Scholars have long debated whether the depiction of bull-leaping is real or fanciful. Prevailing opinion holds that skilled athletes could have performed the trick of vaulting over a bull’s horns and back. S N L DF deity was portrayed by the Minoans, but the precise purpose of these statues is unknown (Figure 2.3). Minoans also honored numerous minor household goddesses and venerated trees and stone pillars, to which they probably attributed supernatural powers. Near the end of their era, the Minoans began to bury their dead in underground tombs and chambers, but neither the reason for the new burial practice nor its ritualistic meaning has been discovered. Around 1600 BCE, Crete suffered when a nearby volcanic island erupted. About a century later, the mainland Mycenaeans conquered Crete but did not destroy Knossos. Around 1375 BCE, Knossos was devastated but it is not known how or why. The inhabitants of Crete had always relied heavily on trade, and this did not change under Mycenaean domination until about 1100 BCE. The Greeks of the later Archaic Age had no direct knowledge of Minoan culture, but the Greek attitude toward the Minoans was shaped by mythology. Myths are traditional stories told about bygone eras by later peoples who are seeking to explain some of mat76655_Ch02_032-055.indd 36 S M I T H , A D A M 2 0 0 8 T S Figure 2.3 Earth Goddess with Snakes. Ca. 1600–1580 BCE. Faience, ht. 131/2″. Archaeological Museum, Heraklion, Crete. This cult figure was discovered in the Treasury of the Knossos Palace. Her triangular dress, with its apron and flounced skirt, is similar to those of Cretan youths in surviving frescoes. 11/26/12 3:11 PM Beginnings: Mycenaean Culture, 1900–1100 BCE their basic political, social, or religious practices and ideas. They are often communal and comforting in their explanations, and frequently provide insights into peoples’ ways of thinking. As an example, Crete is traditionally the birthplace of the god Zeus. The Minoans worshiped a Zeus who was born in a cave, grew to manhood, and died. They venerated the site of his birth and honored him as a child. The later Greeks, however, believed Zeus to be the immortal father and ruler of the Olympian deities, and they were incensed by the Minoan belief that the god had died. The grain of truth in this story may be that, although the Greeks eventually dominated Crete in physical terms, elements of Minoan religion found their way into later Greek beliefs; thus, in a sense, the Olympian gods were born on Crete. Cretan influences on Greece may also be detected in language, social organization, and economic pursuits, although the Archaic Greeks did not regard the Minoan past as part of their heritage. BEGINNINGS: MYCENAEAN CULTURE, 1900–1100 BCE Mycenaean culture, named by archaeologists for Mycenae, a prominent fortress city, developed on the rugged lower Greek peninsula known as the Peloponnesus. 37 An aggressive warrior people, perhaps from the plains of southern Russia or from the upper Tigris-Euphrates valley, the Mycenaeans arrived on the peninsula in about 1900 BCE, and, by about 1500 BCE, they ruled the entire Peloponnesus. More is known about the Mycenaeans than about the Minoans. The archaeological record is more abundant, revealing several palace sites and numerous splendid artifacts. But writing is also critical in two distinct respects. First, the Mycenaeans adapted Cretan Linear A writing to their own language, a primitive form of Greek, and produced thousands of Linear B tablets. These tablets contain administrative and commercial documents that aid in understanding Mycenaean government. Second, the much later Iliad and Odyssey are set in the Mycenaean world and contain a good deal of authentic informaabout it. StionJudging from the Iliad, Mycenaean society was arisMtocratic and hierarchical. A confederation of autonokings might occasionally accept the leadership I mous of one of their number. For example, in the Trojan TWar, Agamemnon of Mycenae was the leader of all Hthe Greeks. Excavations at Mycenae, especially its impressive Lion Gate (Figure 2.4), hint at the wealth and , power of kings. Literary and artistic depictions suggest a society that prized military prowess. Linear B documents suggest a bureaucratic system that was A D A M 2 0 0 8 T S Figure 2.4 The Lion Gate at Mycenae. Ca. 1300 BCE. The Lion Gate is a massive structure of four gigantic blocks—two posts and a beam forming the entrance and a triangular block on which are carved the two 9-foot-high lions and the central column. So impressive were the megalithic Mycenaean fortresses to the later Greeks that they called them “cyclopean,” convinced that only a race of giants, the Cyclopes, could have built them. mat76655_Ch02_032-055.indd 37 S N L DF 11/26/12 3:11 PM 38 CHAPTER TWO: THE AEGEAN adept at raising taxes. There were certainly merchants in the Mycenaean world, the majority of whose people were farmers. Slavery existed but its exact significance is not clear. Excavations show that the Mycenaeans appreciated fine objects and achieved a high level of technical skill. Within the citadel of Mycenae, six shaft graves (vertical burials) were discovered. One of them contained a spectacular gold burial mask (Figure 2.5) traditionally called the “Mask of Agamemnon.” On discovering it, the famous German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann telegraphed Berlin, “i have looked on the face of Agamemnon.” Probably not—but it is a good story. The graves do reveal the care with which the Mycenaeans attended to the remains of their dead. it is tempting to think that they may have learned this from the Egyptians. Near Sparta, archaeologists unearthed a pair of gorgeous drinking cups, one of which is shown in Figure 2.6. The energy of the figures depicted on the cup is palpable, but no less noticeable is the technical mastery of the unknown artist. After their conquest of the Minoans, the Mycenaeans extended their raiding and trading activities throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Between 1210 and 1180 BCE, they attacked the wealthy and strategic city of Troy, on the western coast of present-day Turkey (see Map 2.1). it is delightful to think that the face of the beautiful Helen launched a thousand ships, but the Trojan War was only the culmination of a bitter trade dispute. Although similar expeditions had brought spoils to the Mycenaeans on earlier occasions, this long, exhausting foray weakened them. The Myceaneans were no match for the dorians, who invaded or migrated from the north in about 1100 BCE. Technology in Minoan Crete and Mycenae Early cultures in the Aegean—Minoan and Mycenaean— built on the bronze technology of earlier Near Eastern models (see Chapter 1). Bronze was the preferred metal of Mycenaean artisans, as it was for the Minoans before them, but copper, tin, silver, and gold were also used. All these metals were available from mines and deposits in the Mediterranean basin, except tin, which came from the British isles. Crete and Mycenae used bronze for weapons and everyday objects until S both societies collapsed before the onset of the iron Age, in about 1200 BCE. M in military technology, the Minoans and the MyI cenaeans followed the lead of Near Eastern neighbors but made some advances too: T H , A D A M • Bronze weapons: daggers, swords, spears, and javelins; and body armor, such as shields, helmets, and leg and arm coverings • introduction of the horse and of horse-drawn chariots by 2000 BCE • Redesigned chariots by 1300 BCE, with six wheel spokes instead of four and axles under 2 0 0 8 T S Figure 2.6 Figure 2.5 S N L DF Mask of Agamemnon. Ca. 1500 BCE. Thinly beaten gold, c. 12″ across. National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Although this is the only Mycenaean gold burial mask so far discovered, it is likely that high-status persons, especially kings, may have had such masks placed in their graves. This is reminiscent of the burial masks on the sarcophagi that held the mummies of prominent Egyptians. mat76655_Ch02_032-055.indd 38 Vapheio Cup. Ca. sixteenth century BCE. Gold, 31/2″ high. National Archaeological Museum, Athens. This gold cup, one of two discovered in a tomb at Vapheio near Sparta, Greece, shows a man attempting to capture a bull. At the bottom of the image, the hunter tries to ensnare the bull by means of the net held in his outstretched arms. The curved line of the animal’s arched back helps frame the scene, while the bull, with its size and muscular body, seems to be winning this ferocious struggle between man and beast. This cup is thought to be from the Mycenaean period, because its execution is less refined than the exquisite artistry of the other cup (not shown here), which is attributed to the Minoan style. However, both goldsmiths used the same technique: hammering out the scenes from the inside of the cup. 11/26/12 3:11 PM the rear platform, which enhanced stability and maneuverability • Advances in shipbuilding: extending the height of the mast, enlarging the size of the sails, and redesigning the oar to increase rowing power THE ARCHAIC AGE, 800–479 BCE After the Mycenaeans, Greece entered a period known as the Dark Ages, “dark” because little is known about it. People lived in isolated farming communities and produced only essential tools and domestic objects. Commercial and social interchange among communities, already made hazardous by the mountainous terrain, became even more dangerous, and communication with the eastern Mediterranean kingdoms nearly ceased. Yet some fundamental changes were slowly occurring. Political power was gradually shifting from kings to the heads of powerful families, laying the foundation for a new form of government, and iron gradually replaced bronze in tools and weapons, ushering in the Iron Age in Greece. Many Mycenaeans fled to the coast of Asia Minor, which later came to be called Ionia, thus paving the way for the formation of an extended Greek community around the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. In about 800 BCE, the Greeks emerged from years of stagnation and moved into an era of political innovation and cultural experimentation. Although scattered and isolated, they shared a sense of identity based on their common language, their heroic stories and folktales, their myths and religious practices, and S M I T Figure 2.7 Acropolis, Athens. View from the west. The Acropolis dominates HAthens in the twenty-first century just as it did in ancient times when it was the center Athenian ceremonial and religious life. Today it is the towering symbol of Athens’s , ofcultural heritage as well as the center of the local tourist industry. A landmark in the history of town planning, the Acropolis is the ancestor of all c ...
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Running head: ANCIENT GREEK CIVILIZATION

Ancient Greek Civilization
Name:
Institution:

1

ANCIENT GREEK CIVILIZATION

2

Ancient Greek civilization
Archaic Greece is characterized by some of the oldest human civilizations. According
to Matthews, Noble, and Platt (2014), the Minoans and Mycenaean cultures were the first
groups to achieve civilization in early Europe between 2000 and 200 BC. Precisely, Minoans
are credited as the first Bronze Age Aegean civilization. According to Tzedakis and Martlew
(2001), this civilization lived the Aegean Islands, and predominantly the island of Crete,
between 2700 and 1450 BC, from which they declined progressively until 1100 BC. On the
other hand, the Mycenaean civilization started in 1600 BC and ended in 1100 BC. These
advances that were achieved by these two civilizations gave rise to the Greek civilization.
While Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were ultimately replaced by ancient Greek
civilization in 800-500 BC, many of their cultures, politics, and religion could be identified in
the latter (Matthews, Noble & Platt, 2014). This paper explores the key aspects of Minoan
and Mycenaean cultures that were retained by later Greeks, the principal political and social
achievements of the Greek Archaic period, and the differences between Greek religion and
philosophy.
Aspects of the Minoan and Mycenaean Cultures among the Later Greek
The Minoan and Mycenaean cultures contributed significantly to the later Greek. As
explained earlier, many of the elements that were present in the Minoan and Mycenaean
civilizations were passed on to the Greek civilization. While Mycenaean civilization occurred
towards the end of the Minoan civilization, a brief period was observed between the end of
the two civilizations in 1100 BC and the start of the ancient Greek civilization in 800 BC
(Matthews et al., 2014). However, t...

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